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Deaf and Hard of Hearing camp provides fun, connection for kids

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THE FEED

At Deaf and Hard of Hearing (D&HHS) Kids Camp, the kids come here so that they can have fun, experience things they may not otherwise experience, and learn new ways to communicate.
Campers at Deaf and Hard of Hearing Camp

/Courtesy of Nancy Cluley

Campers at Deaf and Hard of Hearing Camp


Renita Creasy, camp counselor at Deaf and Hard of Hearing Camp

Renita Creasy, camp counselor at Deaf and Hard of Hearing Camp /Courtesy of Nancy Cluley

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At Deaf and Hard of Hearing (D&HHS) Kids Camp, the kids come here so that they can have fun, experience things they may not otherwise experience, and learn new ways to communicate, much like all the other summer camps that kids from all over attend. Kids camp ages range from three years old to 12 years old because we know it works best when kids can learn how to navigate the world with confidence long before they become adults.

This year the kids went to a bank where they learned all about money, the Children’s Museum where they had fun with giant bubbles while they learned about working together, Gymco and Jesters Court where they got to burn off energy while having fun bouncing, jumping, and winding through tunnels. They had a great time at all the venues but this camp is a very special camp because D&HHS kids happen to be deaf and hard of hearing.

Most of these kids are secluded in their homes and never have an opportunity to be with others with hearing loss. So when they get to camp it is an amazing surprise when they meet other kids just like them. This is the best part of camp as they can genuinely socialize with their peers.  

And the camp counselor is no different. The kids always want to know if she is just like them. Renita Creasy, the camp counselor believes this is one of the best ways to start off camp. She explains that yes, she is like them, but she is also different. She does not have a cochlear implant, or does not need an interpreter to communicate, but she is hard of hearing. She talks to the kids to show how they are all similar.  

Then they talk about how they are all different. Renita makes sure the kids learn this lesson as she is dressed like a unicorn on this first day of camp, with rainbow colors in her long hair. It becomes very emotional as many of these kids are at camp for the first time in their young lives. This is the first time they are meeting other kids who are deaf and realizing they are not alone in this struggle to communicate and interact with others. Renita sees the ‘lightbulbs going off’ and tears come to her eyes as she realizes she is opening-up a whole new world for kids who have been isolated because of the inability to hear. By the end of the discussion one thing is for sure, all the kids say they like her anyway, even if she is dressed like a unicorn.


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